The media Le figaro, The team and other French mobile apps filed lawsuits against Apple on Monday, August 1. They accuse the Apple brand of violating competition law with its monopoly on the distribution of applications in the huge iPhone market.
Apple owns one “Deliberate, anti-competitive and unjustifiable monopoly”, estimate the two French newspapers affiliated with Gesture, an association representing publishers of content and online services, according to the lawsuit filed in a San Jose court. Like many other developers around the world, they criticize Apple for offering only one way to access users of the brand’s devices: the App Store, an essential platform for downloading applications.
The California tech giant controls this platform for commission payments that publishers have to pay to them on all but 30% of their customers’ purchases. “Apple cornered the market for distributing apps on iOS (…), but not because it built the best store.”argue the plaintiffs. “Apple deliberately built a monopoly by blocking potential competition through technical means and developer contracts.”
“Apple’s actions are designed to destroy competition”, their lawyers claim. They are demanding a jury trial and a judge’s injunction to force Apple to change its practices, as well as damages. Their lawsuit cites excerpts from the ruling that followed the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, publishers of the video game phenomenon Fourteen days. In 2020, Epic filed a lawsuit against the iPhone maker for abusing a dominant position, accusing it of monopolizing the purchase of goods and services in its online store.
>> Fortnite vs Apple: What you need to know about this battle royale played in court and on your phone
Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request from AFP, is also fighting with several American and European regulators on the issue. The company assures that the App Store is the best possible guarantee in terms of payment security and data confidentiality and that allowing applications to be downloaded outside of this platform would pose security risks. According to Backlinko, more than a billion people worldwide use an iPhone.